How about living in a converted flour store as part of a famous Norfolk mill?
It's part of the heritage of Norfolk and many of us will remember the good and bad fortunes of Buxton Mill. Now, there's a rare chance to live there. Property editor Caroline Culot went to visit Gullane House, for sale for a guide price of £525,000 with Jackson-Stops.
The towering white painted, weatherboarded building that is Buxton Mill is a much loved landmark in Norfolk and many of us will remember only too well its good and bad times over the past 20-30 years. So, it is with much fond affection that I visited a four bedroom house, adjoining the mill, which would have been the original flour store.
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A water mill was recorded on the site as far back as the Domesday Book but it was rebuilt in 1754, a key date in its history, when William Pepper created the white painted brick and weatherboarded structure we know today and it operated as a mill, its unusual two wheel design working to make flour and also grinding animal feed. After it closed in 1970, with the relocation of the Duffields business, the mill went into its diverse history with it opening as Boleyns restaurant in the late eighties only to be gutted by fire in 1991.
After that began a 14 month rebuilding programme, considered at the time to be the largest timber frame reconstruction ever to take place in the UK, and the mill once again rose, phoenix like, to become a hotel complex. In 2002, it gained planning permission to be converted into flats - and so has been lived in privately ever since.
I was lucky to visit on one of the few sunny days this week and I just love the approach to Buxton Mill, down Mill Lane which is so pretty.
This really is an idyllic spot with the water gushing under the bridge perfectly framed by willow trees. Gullane House is to the left of the mill as you look at it and boasts the most stunning views to the front and rear over the River Bure and neighbouring countryside. You just have the perfect country abode.
Inside off a hall, is the dining room and utility but the kitchen/breakfast room, the original flour store, is really pretty with views over the river. You have wide windows with small internal panes so this house is really sunny yet very private.
You enter into a reception hall and there is a sitting room with an original fireplace and French doors to the garden room where you can sit and enjoy the views, the sound of the water and the wildlife - which includes a very friendly duck!
Although this house is modern, it has all the original features such as beams and ironwork which would have formed part of the original building. Upstairs are four bedrooms and a loft room as well as an en suite shower room and a family bathroom; these are well proportioned rooms with suprisingly high ceilings. Outside you have a decked area where you can sit outside and of course, if you fancy it, you can canoe to Oxnead or enjoy some of the nearby river walks.
And...coincidentally, if you are taken by the thought of living in a historic mill...Jackson-Stops are also selling, jointly with Brown & Co, Keswick Mill, for £925,000. This mill dates to 1720 and ceased operating in 1976, being restored in the 1980s and with further improvements in 2001 and more recently, in 2015. The accommodation has been designed to have the majority of the living space open plan and on the first floor to take advantage of the river views. There are two further floors offering up to eight bedrooms with four bathrooms and plenty of space for playrooms, studio or storage. Outside are delightful riverside gardens with a summer house and paddock.
Both properties are being sold by Jackson-Stops on 01603 612333 www.jackson-stops.co.uk